Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Curious Case of the JFK Assassination Window

It is looking as if today's blogging is all about odd things people are trying to sell in Dallas, first large sums of money to buy a seat in a football stadium and now fighting over a Dallas window.

Okay, I'll admit the window does have some notoriety and fame. I've even looked out this window. Well, looked out where the window(s) in question used to be located.

See, way back in November of 1963 it is believed that a man, buried near where I live, named Lee Harvey Oswald, shot a rifle from a window in a building known as the Texas School Book Depository. It is believed, by many, that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole assassin of John F. Kennedy.

When you visit the museum that now occupies the 6th Floor of the Texas School Book Depository building you can see the window from which it is alleged Oswald shot. You are blocked from directly looking out that window.

When I visited the 6th Floor Museum I assumed I was looking at the actual window that was there at the time of the assassination. I was wrong.

Two Texans, Caruth Byrd and Aubrey Mayhew (are those great Texas names, or what?) both claim to have the original sniper's window from the 6th floor.

A couple years ago Byrd sued Mayhew, claiming that Mayhew's claim to have the real window reduced the value of Byrd's window.

Byrd claims he inherited the window from his dad, Colonel D. Harold Byrd, a former owner of the Book Depository. The son claims his dad, the colonel, had the window removed 6 weeks after the assassination.

Aubrey Mayhew (actually from Tennessee, not Texas) bought the Book Depository from the colonel in 1970, thinking he was going to open a museum. The colonel financed Mayhew's purchase, Mayhew defaulted and the colonel re-took possession in 1973.

Mayhew claims that while he held the building he had the assassin's window removed.. The men Mayhew hired to remove the window have signed affidavits attesting to the fact they believed it to be the sniper's window.

Previously a judge has ruled that Mayhew does not own the window, but that judge also did not rule that Byrd did own it.

What a lot of confusion over a window. Byrd has tried a couple times to sell his window on E-Bay, with no success. Currently he is saying he wants to maximize the value of his window so he can sell it and build a wildlife refuge.

Mayhew says he does not want to sell his window, that his goal is just to muck things up and confound potential buyers, thus discouraging any sale.

Mayhew has finally gotten around to hiring a lawyer, previously he had refused. The trial was supposed to start on Monday, without Mayhew having a lawyer, but now that he has hired representation, the trial has been postponed til March 16 to give Mayhew's lawyer time to figure out the case.

I love a good brouhaha over a window.

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